Explorer Ponce de León abandoned his quest to discover the mythical land of wine after a tumble into the Fountain of Youth left him eternally underage. Take up his journey with today’s Groupon to Valenzano Winery in Shamong. Choose between the following options:
- For $12, you get an educational winery tour for one, with a wine-and-cheese tasting and a bottle of merlot (a $24 value).
- For $20, you get an educational winery tour for two, with a wine-and-cheese tasting and two bottles of merlot (a $48 value).<p>
Winery tour and tastings are available every Friday from January 20 to March 16, run from around 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., and begin casually once everyone has arrived.<p>
Valenzano Winery’s Tuscan-style estate sprouts grapes to produce a wide variety of Dionysian delights. Savvy tour guides pilot paths through the winery’s production facilities and barrel room, waxing poetic along the way about the art of winemaking and how to keep grapes from leaving home to join a rock band. After working up an appetite touring, guests are invited to the bar to taste a variety of wines, which will be paired with cheese and light appetizers. Then tourists can head home with a bottle of 2008 vintage merlot neatly tucked underneath arms and newly learned knowledge neatly stashed away inside brainfolds.
When its first location opened in 1996, Valenzano Winery was a modest endeavor, producing about 1,200 gallons that year. But since then, Valenzano has expanded to three vineyard locations and 99,000 gallons of wine per year, each location crafting wine made mostly from grapes grown at southern New Jersey farms. From reds and whites to fruit wines—such as cranberry and blueberry—Valenzano's pours span a wide range of flavors and aromas.